Tag Archives: Digital Comics

ADC Comic of the Day: AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE

27 Mar

by Orion Tippens

photoWriter: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artists: Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications
Start release: 2013 – ongoing
Frequency: monthly, ongoing

Synopsis:

Jughead is hungry…for human flesh?!

Yes. Afterlife with Archie is set in an alternate, less cartoonish continuity of popular Archie comics, where the small town of Riverdale is overrun with a horrific zombie epidemic; after local teenage witch Sabrina casts a necromancy spell in an attempt to revive Jughead’s dog, with unintended consequences. Living death spreads throughout Riverdale, sending America’s favorite teenager, Archie, and his non-infected friends fleeing for their lives. Their youthful life of milkshakes and sock hops is now a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

photo 1Thoughts:

Who would have thought that Archie Comics could be a source for modern horror, suspense, and drama? Yet here we are – and the result is terrifying, brilliant, and fun.

As a fan of horror and comics, I was hooked from the opening page. Not so much for the tired gimmick of zombies; but the attention to what makes the best of this sub-genre wonderful: the stage environment and the players present. We have suspense and supernatural horror mixed with casual social commentary. When done well, any overplayed genre can be made fresh and enjoyable.

Plus, I love the biting and screaming.

photo 2The Continue reading

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Comic of the Day REVIEW: Doctor Who Special 2013 #1

10 Mar

(Another winning write-up by Orion, folks! Do the Doctor Who comics live up to the TV show’s greatness? Does the story’s young-female Doctor Companion function as a Mary Sue for a middle-aged British writer? Are comics readers and DW fans ALL Special Snowflakes? Read on, and find out…)

by Orion Tippens

photo 1ADC Comic of the Day: Doctor Who Special 2013 #1

Writer: Paul Cornell

Pencils: Johnny Broxton

Published by: IDW Publishing

Released: Dec. 2013

Notes: One-shot, self-contained story

STORY:

The Doctor meets…Doctor Who?!

After a mishap send the TARDIS astray, our favorite Time Lord stumbles upon a world most familiar to us readers.

photo 3This is our real world, or as the Doctor puts it; a world of “anti-fiction,” “non-fiction,” and “un-fiction.” Here, all of the exciting moments in the Doctor’s life are passed off through stories, through a fictional TV show called “Doctor Who” staged with special effects. “Doctor Who” is well-received by its huge fandom base, very popular at geek conventions, and a growing oncoming merchandising storm.

The Doctor is Continue reading

Comic of the Day: Shifter

24 Feb

Comics of the Day Review:

photo 2Shifter: Interactive Graphic Novel (for mobile devices, IOS version)

by Orion Tippens

Writer: Brian Haberlin and Brian Holguin

Pencils: Brian Haberlin, Geirrod VanDyke, Kunrons Yap, Chan Hyuk Lee

Letter: Francis Takenaga

Published by: Anomoly Productions

Date released: Jan 23, 2014

Pages: 875 panels of art, appendix text (book is 224 pages)

Rated: 12+

Notes: Also in print as a graphic novel with augmented reality options.

The UAR app for Shifter is a separate app and not a subject for this review. The app reviewed is currently the iOS version (Version 1.0) read on my iPad 2

The following review contains mild spoilers, and focuses on the story and app viewing technology.

photo 1Story:

Shifter is set on an ultra-modern-day planet Earth (after a mysterious prologue, that occurs six months later): we meet Noah Freeman, an everyman centered on his job of drone-controlled environmental data collection. All seems well with his secure job and upcoming engagement, until a casual hiking trip goes very wrong; Noah is thrown down a waterfall by a duo of sinister mystery men, and survives only to stumble upon a portal leading into some strange, other-dimensional plane of existence.

Here, Noah finds himself conversing with a sentient, spherical device. With that, he discovers a power within his surroundings to travel back to select times and places, but only through a choice of collected creatures and persons. Many specimens are extinct, and are of different sizes and personalities. One is human – a female Celtic warrior – with whom he develops a friendship. As a possessor of each specimen, he also shares its experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Such new explorations are exciting for Noah, but he seeks out a way to revisit to his old life. But he discovers himself wanted for murder – and a grand conspiracy behind it all. Now, he must use these new powers to set his original life right… Continue reading

Comic(s) of the Day: Injustice-Gods Among Us v2 #1-3

17 Feb

by Orion Tippens, ADC

Injustice 4Comics of the Day Review:

Injustice: Gods Among Us volume 2, #1-3 (single digital issues)

Writer: Tom Taylor

Pencils: Bruno Redondo

Inks: Julien Hugonard-Bert

Published by: DC Comics

Note: The single digital issues of Injustice are later collected and released in print.

Story:

Set in an alternate DC universe and based on a videogame (as a prequel, so far), Injustice: Gods Among Us brings us a familiar continuity gone horribly wrong.

Spoilers ahead:

These issues continue a long story from Injustice Gods: Among Us volume 1, in which Superman is now a megalomaniacal psychopath with murderous tendencies, much later after the death of his wife and unborn child. He declares himself sovereign of Earth and drug dealer of special performance enhancers – all for the making of his “better world.” Meanwhile, Batman is recovering from bad injuries, remains in hiding while building his own insurgency to this super-regime. Also, cosmic forces are showing an increasing interest in this developing situation.

Thoughts:

I am a huge fan of this series, my favorite guilty pleasure in mainstream comics: not so much for the videogame tie-in but for the creative writing and freedom involved. The writer from the very beginning took this control, and the destinies of our familiar DC universe cast, and ran away with it all. Injustice is Continue reading

MADEFIRE interview with Liam Sharp and Dave Gibbons

15 Nov

by Orion Tippens

All DAY Comics

Liam Sharp and Dave Gibbons #2

Liam Sharp and Dave Gibbons (photo by Orion Tippens)

Inventive storytelling and motion comics: The two come together perfectly though Madefire, a magnificent motion-comics app for all current Apple iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch).

Through the Madefire app, users may download and read the finest in motion comics. Through finger-swiping and perhaps good headphones, viewers enter strange new worlds of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Unlike normal digital-comic scans, the viewer takes in enhanced effects and creative transitions that break traditional panel boundaries. For those accepting of this new and creative style, awesomeness awaits you!

Behind the scenes of Madefire are two legendary UK comics artists: Liam Sharp and David Gibbons. Their involvement and building of Madefire have brought the comics standard to motion comics at a respectable and accessible level to comics fans. They both have worked for decades for all of the major companies out there, both in the US and UK. Now they bring their gold standards to new levels in this brave new digital world.

I had the good fortune of meeting Liam and Dave at the Madefire booth at the San Diego Comic Con. We had an enlightening conversation on the philosophy of motion comics and the development of Madefire. Below is our exchange:

ADC: Hello. For our readers at All Day Comics and comics enthusiasts, please introduce yourselves.

Liam Sharp:  Hello, my name is Liam Sharp, I am the CCO of Madefire Comics.

Dave Gibbons:  I am Dave Gibbons; I am a comic-book writer and artist. I am working on a couple of projects for Madefire and taking an active part in the development of the platform.

ADC: For Madefire Comics, what are your current projects?

Dave Gibbons: The book that I am doing for Madefire is called The Treatment. It’s set in the future, where there are certain areas in a city controlled by the police because things are bad. There are these freelance police called the Treatment, who treat the ills of society. In order to finance it, it’s being broadcast on live TV as a reality show. It’s like COPS, but you can get killed on live TV.

Liam Sharp: The story I’m doing – actually, I’m working on two of them. I’m writing with Ben Wolstenhome, the other founder. I’m writing his book (Mono) and providing some amazing illustrations. He’s new to the industry, and I think for a first-time storyteller he’s doing an amazing job. The story I’m writing and drawing myself, with Christine McCormack who is co-authoring, is called Captain Stone is Missing. It’s probably my opus, a story I’ve been wanting to do for the last twenty years. It’s really exciting.

ADC: For readers not familiar with Madefire comics’ presentation as a motion comic, how does it differ from the “normal” digital-transferred comics and print comics out there?

Dave Gibbons: As for most other digital comics, those are Continue reading

Hey, it’s a Brand New DC NEW 52 survey

22 Jun

by Mike Hansen

Frankenstein (DC Comics)

A New 52 character. Also a metaphor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m back, folks!

Looks like DC Comics has stuck with Nielsen to offer another online survey – go here and let them know what you think of the New 52 so far. I just took the survey, and I was happy to let DC know what it’s doing right or wrong.

One thing to watch out for: “Orange Ivy” is the fake title this time. Make sure you mark that you’ve never heard of it, or you won’t be able to take the full survey.

A couple of thoughts on the survey:

Once again, there is no option for indicating that a customer purchased print comics from an online comics retailer. Some of the questions about going to a comics shop and making impulse purchases or whatever don’t really apply if some of the comics were preordered online.

Also, the survey did not ask any detailed questions about the characters, story, or creative teams – there was one question about how important these are to me when I buy comics. I suppose DC doesn’t want its readers second-guessing the always-fine decisions made by its editorial staff.

Anyway, check out the survey – and feel free to let me know what you think…

Fun Friday Foto: NEW 52 edition

8 Jun

by Mike Hansen

Amethyst redesign by Aaron Lopresti 2

Amethyst redesign by Aaron Lopresti

DC Comics just announced that four of its New 52 titles will be replaced.

One of those titles being cancelled is Justice League International, mostly drawn by my former art teacher Aaron Lopresti. Fortunately, DC has announced four new series to launch in September, including Sword and Sorcery (featuring Amethyst, one of DC’s best 1980s characters) drawn by Lopresti.

He posted his Amethyst character design on his Facebook page today, and since I haven’t seen any comics sites repost it, I will here:

Amethyst redesign by Aaron Lopresti

Aaron posts artwork regularly on his FB page; I highly recommend Liking it.

Reminds me of some of his best work on Wonder Woman. He talks a bit about Amethyst here.

Here’s a few deets from DC’s press release:

Timed to the one year anniversary of the launch of the historic DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 initiative, DC Comics will introduce 0 month.

In September 2012, DC Comics will release 0 issues—and we don’t mean we aren’t publishing any titles—but what we will be doing is numbering every DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 title #0.

… debuting at #0 are four new comic book series:

TALON – Co-Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Artist: Guillem March.

SWORD OF SORCERY – Writer: Christy Marx. Artist: Aaron Lopresti.

THE PHANTOM STRANGER – Writer: Dan DiDio. Artist: Brent Anderson.

TEAM SEVEN – Writer: Justin Jordan. Artist: Jesus Merino.

The four new series will follow with issue #1s in October and other series will resume their numbering.

More details in the link.

Have a great weekend!

LOTS o’ Links (May 30 2012)

30 May

by Mike Hansen

Jack Kirby with Avengers cover

Hail to the King, baby.

The best links I’ve come across in the last few days/weeks – bookmark and read at your leisure:

The Bonfire Agency has put its money where its mouth is, and created FanPan, an online consumer focus group for comics readers. Sounds interesting.

The ONLY Avengers film review you need to read.

Possibly the most important comic you can buy and/or download this year: STEAL BACK YOUR VOTE, from one of America’s best investigative journalists (whose work towers over the often-shoddy reporting of U.S. corporate media). Check it out.

Since I’ve been talking about bonus features, here’s something everyone should know about DVD bonus features. Mark Evanier shines a light on something rather messed up about multimillion-dollar movie studios.

On a related note, here’s a horror story of how Warner Bros treats the translators of Harry Potter novels around the world. They’re even not invited to the film premieres, even when their work is used for the films without credit or payment. Classy.

Would WB treat J.K. Rowling the way DC treated Alan Moore? (Or just their translators?)

Did you know that the first appearance of Batman has rarely been reprinted in its original form? Most “reprints” are actually an edited and REDRAWN version of the story – see this post for a dramatic comparison of a few panels. Ugh! (If you want to read the real deal, it seems that the Batman in the Forties trade paperback is the only recent reprint of the actual original.)

Nice interview with Matt Wagner on his final Zorro story arc – Wagner remains one of the best writers (and artists) in comics, and his Zorro work is one of the best things Dynamite’s ever published. I recommend it for, well, pretty much everyone.

Have you seen this adorable story of how Marvel created a deaf superhero to convince a child to wear his hearing aid? Big points to Marvel for this one.

In the wake of the Avengers movie’s success, Image publisher Eric Stephenson republished his essay on Jack Kirby.

Legendary Marvel writer/artist Jim Starlin (whose work was credited in the Avengers film) had to buy his own ticket. And didn’t get any money for the use of his work. Sigh.

A surprising profile/interview with Stan Lee (who, unlike former freelance Marvel writers and artists, gets $1 million a year for life from Marvel) actually got his take on creators’ rights. Here’s another interview with Lee along the same lines.

Here’s Chris Roberson’s full interview with the Comics Journal in the wake of his departure from DC.

Batman in the Forties TPB cover

The only place to read the REAL original Batman story?

The CEOs of Disney (which owns Marvel) and Time Warner (which owns DC) were each paid millions of dollars last year. I wonder how much the creators of the superheroes they own made.

This is old news at this point, but the comments thread of this piece on Before Watchmen at The Beat is well worth reading – lots of comics pros have things to say, including Toby Cypress, Stuart Moore, Ed Brubaker, and Kurt Busiek.

Former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter has a lot to say about the “shared-universe” concept and a new business model for work-for-hire. Can it be done? I dunno, but it raises some interesting ideas. (This post is also the last of a series reacting to brilliant futurist Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing, the best must-read website on the planet) and his ideas about using technology to share ideas and work. Obviously, I recommend them, too.)

A just-released German Donald Duck reprint accidentally misused the word “holocaust.” Oops.

An Iranian cartoonist was recently sentenced to 25 lashings for daring to draw a member of Iran’s parliament wearing a soccer jersey. Dear Iran: Go fuck yourselves.

A Swedish manga translator was put on a sex-offenders list and forced to lose his job and “manga expert” title for owning comics that were ruled “child pornography.” This, of course, does not do one damn thing to protect actual children from actual offenders. Good job, Sweden.

Steve Bennett has the most interesting take I’ve seen yet on the “gay people in comics” issue:

Why now?  Because we’ve undoubtedly reached the tipping point where homosexuality has become so ubiquitous in American life if it’s absent in popular culture its noticeable.  And as to why comics?  Because comics are, hopefully, still a part of mainstream American popular culture, and to be that it was to reflect reality… even if there are people who reject it.

This ties in to something that drives me nuts about most movies and TV, which is the continuing near-absence of minorities besides “token” characters with race-based dialogue (“Aw, hell no!”). And, of course, there’s the Bechdel Test

Okay, so WHY am I linking to things that criticize Marvel and DC while interviewing people who work for Marvel? Well, Continue reading

Today’s All Day Comic: the genius Transformers parody, Incredible Change-Bots!

25 May

by Orion Tippens

Incredible Change-Bots

Writer/Artist: Jeffrey Brown

Top Shelf Comics

Vol. 1 – Sept. 2007, 146 pages

Vol. 2 – March. 2011, 146 pages

Incredible Change-Bots cover

More than just machines!

Finally, a story about fighting robots with all of the emotional depth and drama that comes with the consequences of personal change…into vehicles.

And within that tale, questions arise. Did the Incredible Change-Bots evolve from word processors? Can Shootertron handle a sudden existential crisis? Can a robot police car and a robot truck explore their forbidden love? Can Big Rig become a credible leader to his gang of Awesomebots? Can’t we all just get along? Answers to those and more happen in this epic two-part graphic novel.

change-bots banter

YES. THIS. This x 1 million.

Incredible Change-Bots is the underrated work of Jeffrey Brown, better known for his self-reflecting autobiographical works including Clumsy and Unlikely and the recent hit Darth Vader and Son. Brown carries a unique sense of dry wit often focused on the observed irony and melodrama of the mundane. For the visuals, he keeps it simple and fun with everything crudely hand-drawn, sticking to the basics of a bored child stuck in after-school detention.  For Incredible Change-Bots, Brown adds all of that to this colossal parody of the Transformers.

The story is simple: the Awesomebots (led by Big Rig) fight against the Fantasticons (led by Shootertron). The Change-Bots engage in their lengthy conflict carried over from their war-ravaged planet of Electrotronocybercircuitron over the usual reasons: Continue reading

ADC Comic of the Day(s): HEART OF A CORPSE

23 Mar

by Orion Tippens

(Mike here – this is one of my favorite things about comics: finding a cool gem that I’ve never heard of before. Orion’s review here has convinced me to check this out – you’re going to want to, too! But there’s one thing I’m wondering: is creator Justin Sane the same guy from the band Anti-Flag, or is there more than one walking the earth?! – UPDATE: See comment from Mr. Sane below for the answer!)

Heart of a Corpse #1, #2

Writer, Artist: Justin Sane

Slave Labor Graphics 2011, complete story in two acts

#1 – 58 pages, #2 – 83 pages

Heart of a Corpse cover

Looking for something new, something wonderful in the sequential art format? Do you also desire creativity, an extended display of shapes and colors that tell the story more than words could? How about a romantic story with a spooktacular vibe?   Then do check out Heart of a Corpse.

What is this wonder? Heart of a Corpse is a simple story in a Victorian style setting about a hearse driver named “The Gentleman,” and his courting of the mortician’s daughter, Annabel. This leading to a proposal in marriage. But trouble happens, as another man, “the Brute,” wants Annabel to himself, and proceeds in nefarious acts against our romantic protagonist. Supernatural and abstract elements develop, adding to the entertaining twists that guide us to a thoughtful, beautiful ending.

Heart of a Corpse art 1

The execution of the story is beautiful, classic. Like a silent movie, we as readers must rely on basic visuals, with a few necessary placards for the entire story. The Continue reading

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